Parliament rejects motion on freehold land acquisition

Parliament has rejected a motion that called on the government to start negotiations with all owners of farms surrounding cities and major villages to pave way for the expansion of towns, cities and major villages.

The mover of the motion, Francistown West MP, Mr Ignitious Moswaane said more than 25 000 applicants await plot allocations in Francistown.

He urged the government to expedite negotiations with farmers so as to take the farms and allocate the land to Francistowners.

Gaborone North MP, Mr Haskings Nkaigwa and Selebi Phikwe West MP, Mr Dithapelo Keorapetse said there was no point for the mover to present the motion as the government has long initiated the idea.

The duo said MP Moswaane only sought to score cheap political points.

The Minister of Lands and Housing, Mr Prince Maele said it was important to note that most of the land surrounding major villages and cities was freehold land.

“I concur with Moswaane that there is no land, but acquisition of freehold land is not easy because it is very expensive,” he said.

He revealed that the government was engaging freehold land owners around Gaborone, Lobatse and Francistown.

He noted that he has previously brought the matter before Parliament asking for money to cater for the growth of cities and major villages. He added that his ministry was working tirelessly to decongest cities.

He said they have engaged Tati Nickel in Francistown to consider selling some of the vast freehold land it owns around Francistown.

He said that they were also talking to the Roman Catholic Church to sell government the land it owns in Kgale near Gaborone.

Mr Maele also reminded the house that the same farming land around cities and towns was considered a green belt, which was important in ensuring food security.